Prince Rupert to add second container terminal, quadruple TEU handling

South Kaien Island identified as site for 2.5 million unit handling facility

Photo: Rob Kruyt

British Columbia’s northern Prince Rupert port plans to quadruple its container-handling capacity long term and double it by 2022, the Prince Rupert Port Authority has announced.

Recently concluded master planning has concluded that there is potential for further expansion of the existing Fairview Terminal and the development of a second container terminal on the South Kaien Island site.  

The new terminal would be able to handle 2.5 million 20-foot-equivalent units (TEUs) annually.

That expansion potential was identified after plans for a second expansion of Prince Rupert's Fairview terminal was announced with DP World in 2018. Fairview’s handling capacity is expected to grow from its current 1.35 million TEUs to 1.8 million by 2022.

In August 2017, DP World unveiled a $200 million expansion to raise the Fairview container terminal’s annual capacity to 1.35 million TEUs from 776,412. The Dubai-based company operates more than 78 marine terminals around the world.

The port said both current and future terminal sites are close to supply chain logistics infrastructure.

Port authority president Shaun Stevenson said the work is partly a response to increased capacity demand at the port.

“The terminal development potential identified in the study ensures that we can accommodate the short-, medium- and long-term supply chain needs of Canadian exporters while continuing to provide the unparalleled reach, reliability and speed shippers have come to expect at the Port of Prince Rupert.”

Prince Rupert is one of North Americas fastest growing container ports.

Container traffic jumped 12%, four times Vancouver’s 3% increase, to 1,036,009 TEUs last year from 926,539 in 2017.

All other Prince Rupert terminals combined realized a 10% increase, with 26.67 million tonnes (MMT) moved compared with 24.17 MMT in 2017.

Prince Rupert Grain Ltd., which handles barley, canola, oats, soybeans and wheat, saw a 6% cargo decline from 5.77 MMT in 2017 to 5.44 MMT in 2018. Coke and coal traffic jumped 21% to 9.12 MMT from 7.56.

The port moved past the one-million-container-per-year mark on December 18.

Prince Rupert’s potential container terminal traffic received a boost March 27 when the world’s 11th-largest container carrier, ZIM Integrated Shipping Services, announced it had partnered with the 2M Alliance vessel-sharing agreement and added Prince Rupert to its North American trade loop.